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UN Ambassador Nikki Haley held a press conference on her 2018 goals. Photo: Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley solidified America's support for the Iranian protestors during a press conference outlining her 2018 priorities, and said the U.S. will call for an emergency session on Iran in New York and in Geneva at the Human Rights Council.

"In these first days of 2018, nowhere is the urgency of peace, security, and freedom being more tested than in Iran. We applaud the tremendous courage of the Iranian people ... This is a precise picture of people rising up against an oppressive dictatorship. The UN must speak out. We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom."

Haley's 2018 priorities:

  • Iran: The U.S. wants to "help amplify the voices Iranian people." She also said the Trump administration is committed to its decertification of the Iran deal.
  • North Korea: "We will never accept a nuclear North Korea," said Haley. "North Korea can talk with anyone they want, but the U.S. will not recognize it ... until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have."
  • Pakistan: "The U.S. will stop all funding for Pakistan as they continue to harbor terrorists," she said in response to questions about the U.S. withholding $255 million in aid to the country. "Pakistan has played a double game for years ... that game is not acceptable to this administration." She added that the aid issue is not connected to the vote on Jerusalem.
  • Palestine: "We very much still want to have a peace process" for the Israelis and Palestinians.

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.